Skip to comments.Discovery of Prehistoric Baby Bottles Shows Infants Were Fed Cow's Milk 5,000 Years Ago
Posted on 10/18/2019 6:22:07 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
...we did some very delicate drilling to produce enough ceramic powder and then treated it with a chemical technique that extracts molecules called lipids... from the fats, oils and waxes of the natural world and are normally absorbed into the material of the prehistoric pots during cooking, or, in this case, through heating the milk.
Luckily, these lipids often survive for thousands of years. We regularly use this technique to find out what sort of food people cooked in their ancient pots. It seems they ate many of the things we eat today, including various types of meat, dairy products, fish, vegetables and honey.
Our results showed that the three vessels contained ruminant animal milk, either from cows, sheep or goat...
This research gives us a greater insight into the lives of mothers and babies in the past and how prehistoric families were dealing with infant feeding and nutrition at what would have been a very risky time in an infant's life. Child mortality would have been high -- there were no antibiotics in those days -- and feeding babies with animal milk would have come with its own set of risks... unpasteurized milk carries the risk of contamination from bacteria and can transmit disease from the animal.
Like all good research, this begs a range of new questions. Both the ancient Greeks and the Romans used very similar vessels and we know of a small number in a prehistoric site in Sudan. It would be interesting to see how these generations of children were fed and raised elsewhere in the world. It's perhaps comforting to know that despite the vast distance of time, these people loved and cared for their children in much the same way that we do today.
(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...
I’m not seeing a proven causal link between feeding animal milk to human babies and lower infant mortality. The fact that the baby-feeding jars were found in children’s graves doesn’t obviously imply a positive correlation!
Another possibility to explain growing population is that more sedentary lives meant mothers could nurse babies more successfully, or that fewer children died from accidents associated with nomadic life.
Teats went out of use 5k yrs ago?
I think the point it, again, we’ve been doing it for millenia (literally), not just a fly-by-night fad. Which is funny, because many of the “health” things are EXACTLY that.
Yes, that is a point, and not a surprise. There is obvious utility, especially in cases of maternal death.
Wow! That’s a lot of cow farts. I am amazed we weren’t in climate crisis melienia ago.
Not so fast there, denier! The earf started warming about 18,000 years ago. :)
I like that the baby bottles were shipped like various small animals to provide entertainment value for the baby.
“The earf started warming about 18,000 years ago. :”
For that I’m thankful too.
I hear you! I hate being cold.
Amazing. I wonder how far back you'd have to go to find that people didn't eat these things. Proteins, fats, oils, carbs....
It's like, like......
Yabba dabba doo
Flintstones, meet the Flintstones
They're the modern stone age family
From the town of Bedrock
They're a page right out of history
Why do they assume these were for newborn infants? You cant feed a newborn cow milk.
They could have been for one or two year olds or whatever.
Five thousand years ago was the copper age. Otsi the mountain mummy had a cooper ax with him when he died.
dads had to hunt with stone tools
The Copper Age lasted from about 4500 B.C. to 3500 B.C.
The Bronze Age lasted from roughly 3500 to 1200 B.C.
These jugs are dated in the article to 5000 years ago or 3000 B.C.
So they are putatively from the Bronze Age depending on particular culture and local. Dad, therefore, was hunting with bronze-tipped arrows and spears.
Good point - the assumption. You cannot feed cow's milk to infants? My memory of ancient practice was, if the mother cannot nurse, they used another lactating woman. Two-year-olds shouldn't need to nurse, should they?
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